Acrid black smoke seen from Havering result of huge fire in Dagenham
PUBLISHED: 10:57 04 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:15 05 November 2013
A raging fire at a scrap yard, which could be seen from across Havering, was brought under control at 5.52am on Saturday.
Firefighters were called to the Dagenham blaze, which destroyed around 1,500 tonnes of scrap metal, at 3.19pm on Friday with acrid, black smoke visible for miles around.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said 20 fire engines, a fire boat and 125 firefighters were working on the fire “at its height”, in Perry Road close to the junction with Chequers Lane.
A nearby worker said the “flames are about 50 to 60 foot high,” adding there was “a lot of black smoke”.
He said: “We can see the flames going up in the yard.”
A safety perimeter had been put in place by officers who believed cylinders were at risk of exploding due to the intense heat.
The fire came as a Fire Brigades Union (FBU) strike began at 6.30pm on Friday and the LFB issued a recall notice “due to the scale and seriousness of the fire which was ongoing”.
The FBU tweeted last night that the LFB “has misled the public over FBU members being recalled to duty for Dagenham fire.
“FBU has not agreed this.”
In a statement, the LFB said: “The FBU immediately advised firefighters that they did not agree that the protocol could be invoked and to ignore it.
“During that period, four fire engines with contingency crews tackled the blaze.
“The strike ended at 11pm and six fire engines went to the scene with 35 firefighters to relieve the contingency crews.”
A LFB spokesman said: “Due to the nature of this type of fire, we expect crews to remain at the scene throughout Saturday and possibly during Sunday too.
“They are dealing with any hot spots and deep seated pockets of fire.
“Diggers are in use to turn over the debris and make sure all embers are fully extinguished.”
Fire investigators are working to establish the cause of the fire.
The union went on strike between 6am and 8am today in a dispute over pensions and retirement age.